In one of our training sessions, a participant said that they needed some tips on resolving objections. Objections are a natural part of the sales negotiation process. However, many sales reps try to actively avoid encountering objections. However, once you realize that real objections signify interest in your offer, you become more skilled at addressing the concerns of the customer.
So, your first task is to determine if your objection is really a sales objection and not a means for the customer to avoid talking with you. To do this, you must ask your prospect if their concern is legitimate, but you have to do it in a certain way to not arouse resentment. Here are some points to keep in mind to achieve this.
Process Steps for Resolving Objections
- Bridge their statement and acknowledge their concerns. This gives you rapport with the prospect instead of preparing your relationship for a confrontation.
- Ask a question for clarification. You never know what a prospect means when they voice an objection. Instead of guessing or assuming you know what they are talking about, ask them to explain and provide more detail.
- Verify that this is their primary concern. Give them the option to identify other areas that may be troubling them. An easy way to do this is by asking, “In addition to this, is there anything else?”
- Test their state with a trial close. If they are truly interested in your offer and this is a legitimate concern, they’ll respond in the positive. However, if this is a smoke screen or a quick response to get rid of you, they’ll respond in the negative.
- For those that hesitate or respond in the negative, ask them what else is holding them back. Simply state the obvious and inquire: “Bob, there appears to be something else holding you back. Do you mind if I ask what that is?”
- When they tell you what else is bothering them about your offering, contrast their two concerns and ask the prospect which one is more important.
- Lastly, use questions to perform a trial close and determine if resolving the new condition allows the sale to move forward.
Supporting Tips to Supplement Your Sales Process
Here are some additional tips for addressing sales objections:
- Avoid being confrontational or argumentative. Always begin in a friendly manner.
- Don’t tell your prospect that they are wrong. That sets the stage for a confrontation. Instead, acknowledge where they are mentally and lead them to where you want them to go. Remember, everyone is entitled to their opinion. You don’t want to take that away. You want to offer options.
- Your presentation matters. If all you had to do was present facts, you could give your prospect the user manual or the brochure. The facts you use to counter an objection need the appropriate presentation suited for the audience. Deliver your evidence using an appropriate amount of dramatic flair to make your point. Anytime you can use your presentation skills to make unfamiliar concepts easily understood, do it and you’ll effectively deal with most of the objections you’ll encounter.
Remember, when you encounter a real sales objection, it’s an indication that your prospect or client is genuinely interested in your proposed solution. Take some time to investigate the objection and use the opportunity to move the sales process forward.